A vision about supporting
the entire healthcare visit process
for both patients and doctors
Before your visit
Imagine that you have a health problem that you want to book an appointment for at a medical clinic.
You pull out your smartphone and go online to book an appointment. Then a question pops up: “We recommend you to fill in this questionnaire before your appointment so that the doctor has a better view of you needs.”
So of course you accept this and spend a couple of minutes filling in an interactive health survey that helps you understand the probable cause of your health problem. The survey then gives you useful information and advice on what you can do yourself and advice about seeking the right type of healthcare, based on your condition.
If your survey answers indicate that you are at risk of developing some form of chronic disease, you are also asked to go through an interactive screening survey for that.
Based on your identified health problem, the system also suggests that you should take some blood tests so that the doctor can see the results during your appointment. The system automatically generates a lab remittance, so that you can go anytime to a test center and take your tests. A few hours later you get a text message: “Your lab tests are now ready, log in here to see the results”.
In your lab results, you can see how your values have changed over time, read about what they indicate and what you can do to optimize the values.
A summary of your health surveys and lab tests are automatically available to your doctor during your visit.
During your visit
When you meet your doctor, the two of you sit down with an iPad that is showing your summary.
As you go through the results together, the doctor can directly on the iPad verify your disease history and earlier medications. The doctor can also show short videos explaining possible types of treatments. When needed, the decision support system in the iPad also recommends examinations, medication and remittance to a specialist. All this is easily done during the course of a regular doctor’s visit.
After your visit
At the end of your visit you get a printed summary, in the language of your choice. It is also sent to you as a link in a text message or email, so that you easily can share the summary with your family if you want to.
- What is the plan that we agreed on? (goals we set, what medications should I take, when and how?)
- What shall I, as a patient, do? (advice on diet and exercise, time for the return visit)
- Information about my treatment (links to information pages, videos)
- Who shall I contact if I have questions, and how?
Why is this not widely used today?
Many of us appreciate mobile apps and digital services that support various processes in other service sectors, such as banking, travel and online shopping.
There are no insurmountable, technical obstacles to implementing a comprehensive digital service like this for most types of pre-booked healthcare visits today. There also should not be any economical barriers, as the investment needed to build and manage these types of digital services is extremely small compared to the enormous cost savings and health benefits they enable for the whole healthcare process.
Some parts of the described services already exist in some places, but they are not spread nationally and most often they are only used in small, local pilot projects.
There is a need to change the roles so that the patients get the tools necessary to become more engaged in the healthcare process already from the start, and the doctors act more like coaches and knowledge brokers. This role transition is necessary for the healthcare system, and it is beneficial to everybody.
– Henrik Ahlen,
eHealth Advisor & Production Manager